The hospitality industry is back. Sort of.
As tourism bounced back to pre-pandemic levels in Southwest Florida, employment in restaurants, resorts and other hospitality businesses is lagging behind. After dipping by about 50% in April 2020, employment slowly increased through the rest of the year and into 2021. But the usual peak in tourism jobs in March 2021 was still down about 14% from the previous year. And total employment in 2021 was still behind where it was in 2019. Visitors are continuing to flock to the Gulfshore in 2022—time will tell if the hospitality industry will have enough employees to meet their demands.